This morning the Development Team worked with 8 Honduran toddlers and babies, many of them pre-op or post-op cardiac patients from the Little Hearts Program. Juan Francisco (in the white and blue tank top) is a 3 year old boy with spina bifida, a condition which causes severe weakness in his legs. Kristie (physical therapist) recognized his atypical movements, and after two days of intensive work, she was able to teach him the normal patterns needed to sit up alone. Juan Francisco sat up for the first time today, and his mother was shocked and overjoyed,
Irene (speech therapist) said they have to get into position before they will begin to communicate. "It was amazing how much he changed once he was in position." Juan Francisco's mother will bring home the techniques she learned this week to continue to strengthen his body and his mind.
The medical staff at Barnabas House finally had an opportunity for one-on-one training, learning to provide these basic therapies to their patients. We discussed when to intervene and when to refer them to other local specialists. During the afternoon, the team and medical staff put together a plan of action. Every FOB program will be influenced by the Child Development Project. Our staff were assisted in planning how they will continue to teach, provide care, and track the children in the communities FOB serves. “It is not just about caring. We are maximizing the human potential,” stated Dr. Velez.
The torch has been officially passed to the dedicated men and women at the Foundation here in Honduras. This program is sustainable because of their dedication to the mountain communities, identifying delays and treating them early!!
The final and most critical piece of the puzzle is that we will follow each patient's progress over the next few years and track their successes. If our babies thrive as we believe they will, there will be no corner of the world that won't benefit from a program like this!